When the planned shopping mall format was developed by Victor Gruen in the mid-1950s, signing larger department stores was necessary for the financial stability of the projects, and to draw retail traffic that would result in visits to the smaller stores in the mall as well. Anchors generally have their rents heavily discounted, and may even receive cash inducements from the mall to remain open. In physical configuration, anchor stores are normally located as far from each other as possible to maximize the amount of traffic exposure for other stores when shoppers walk from one anchor to another.
The International Council of Shopping Centers makes the presence of anchors one of the main defining characteristics of two largest categories of malls, the regional center (with 400,000 to in gross leasable area, and the superregional center (with more than of space. The regional center typically has two or more anchors, while the superregional typically has three or more. In each case, the anchors account for 50-70% of the mall's leasable space.
Malls with anchor stores have consistently outperformed those without one, as the anchor helps draw shoppers initially attracted to the anchor to shop at other stores in the mall.
Early on, grocery stores were a common type of anchor store, since they are visited often. However, research on consumer behavior revealed that most trips to the grocery store did not result in visits to surrounding shops. As of 2005, the declining popularity of old-line department stores makes it necessary for mall management companies to consider re-anchoring with other retail alternatives, or mix commercial development with residential development to guarantee a captive clientèle. The challenges faced by the traditional large department stores has led to a resurgence in the use of supermarkets as anchors.
Saks Sacks Indianapolis's Hopes for Circle Centre Anchor Store.(Originated from The Indianapolis Star and News)
Oct 01, 1997; Oct. 1--Hopes that Saks Fifth Avenue would become Circle Centre's third anchor store -- at least any time soon -- are gone, Mayor...
Sand Springs development attracts national firms: The retail center will have chain restaurants and an "anchor" store.
Sep 09, 2007; Byline: Manny Gamallo Sep. 9--SAND SPRINGS -- Seven national retail firms, along with three national chain restaurants, are...